Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It just keeps getting better...

Today, John and I are celebrating NINETEEN years of marriage!

Nineteen years is a long time, but I'm more crazy about him today than I was 19 years ago. 

The two of us have been through so much together--more than our young minds could have ever imagined on that hot June afternoon! Our journey hasn't always been easy, but it's been good. I can't imagine walking out this life with anyone else by my side. 

Just for fun, here are some wedding pics. They're in an album and I didn't want to pull them out to scan (and besides, my scanner is broken) so I just took pics of the pics. Brilliant. Sorry they're a little grainy.

Gosh, don't we look like babies??? We were! I was barely 20, and John was 23.

John came home last week and told me he'd arranged for a babysitter for tonight. I think the only thing more amazing than an anniversary date is an anniversary date with the childcare being arranged by my husband! I told you he was awesome! 

We're going to dinner at a quaint little place in Manitou Springs, and then who knows! I'm so happy to get to spend some one-on-one time with him!

If you've read my blog for awhile, then you know that I keep an Anniversary Box, and every year we add a new item to it--something that represents our year. We were talking about it last night and decided to add this. It's a pretty big deal for our family!

I'll probably also add this:

(She told me I could share it with ya'll)

It says:
Dear Mom and Dad,
I cannot express how much I love you. If you to didn't meet, I wouldn't be born and raised the way I was. You two made my life so wonderful. Singing, caring, interacting, goofing, and even shouting. Really? Well all I'm sayin is 19 years of love rocks so go enjoy it!
Heart Sarah Elizabeth _________!

How stinkin' sweet is she??? John's post today was pretty sweet too.

John, I love you and I am SO incredibly blessed. Life with you just keeps getting better...

Friday, June 26, 2009

I've lost that loving feeling...

I'm just not feeling much love for blogging lately.

I've been thinking lately of shutting the whole thing down. That's drastic, I know, and I'm not really a drastic person so I doubt I'll shut it down forever. 

But I AM going to step away from the self-induced pressure to post something every. single. day. I'm also stepping away from the self-induced pressure to comment on every. single. post. I. read. I'm even going to clear my google reader and not give another thought to what I might be missing. (My reader has over 200 unread posts and even though I keep making headway, ya'll keep blogging and killing my progress!)

So...I'll see ya when I see ya. And I hope you have a happy weekend!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Outside my window... The sun is shining and a cool breeze is blowing. I love summer mornings.

I am thinking... that my husband makes THE best coffee. And he always has it ready for me when I wake up. Just one of the many reasons I adore him!

I am thankful for... my family.

I am wearing... my pjs. They're pink with red lobsters and red polka dots. I love them.

I am creating... a two-week menu plan and a list of errands to run later this afternoon.

I am going... Crocodile Dock (VBS) this morning (I'm having a blast!) and then to run lots of errands in Colorado Springs this afternoon.

I am reading... The Other by David Guterson. I picked it up at the library one night this week. Thanks for all your suggestions...

I am hoping...I can sleep in on Saturday. I've been up early every day for two weeks!

I am hearing... Jack-the-beagle snore. Loudly. Other than that it's still pretty quiet.

Around the house...Laundry just never goes away, does it? And neither do weeds. I need to go out and pull some soon!

One of my favorite things... is the ice-shaver that my friend gave me when I was pregnant with Abbey. I'm thinking it will be put to good use today. I love pouring blue-raspberry snow cone syrup over a cup of shaved ice on a hot day!

A few plans for the rest of the week ... VBS finale tonight, grocery shopping, and a low-key weekend. Possibly a Girl's Night Out.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Quick Hello...

Good morning from beautiful Colorado!

It's great to wake up, look out my window and see the mountains! It was great to wake up last week and sit on my dad's deck overlooking Beaver Lake, and I love Arkansas, but Colorado feels like home to me. And we all know there's no place like home!

My trip last week was good. I was glad I was able to spend some time with my dad. But it was also a hard trip and I felt a heaviness the entire time I was there. My dad really isn't doing well and I returned home emotionally spent. I'm still processing my trip. Maybe I'll be able to share some of that soon. If you've been praying for him, please continue. He can certainly use your prayers!

So, while I was in AR last week I read three books. 

I finished this one (and I don't know if I'll ever hike again!), I laughed my way through this one (seriously ya'll, it was f-u-n-n-y!), and I sobbed through the second half of this one. I am a big library girl and I rarely buy books but I picked that last one up to read on my flight(s) home. I had to literally close the book to keep from sobbing on the plane (and scaring my seatmates) a couple of times. It was very good. I recommend it, but I also recommend you keep tissues handy. (Of course, it's very likely that the week with my dad heavily influenced my tears).

I now find myself in need of something new to read. It MUST be something light and fluffy with no mention of the dreaded "c" word, the "c" word being cancer. Any suggestions??? I'm not picky about books but I generally avoid non-fiction. (And I feel weird saying that having read three non-fiction books last week.)

I'd love to stay and chat  (and get caught up on all of your blogs this morning) but I'm off to hang with some kiddos at Crocodile Dock. I think it's going to be super fun! 

Monday, June 15, 2009

15 Minutes

I'm giving myself 15 minutes to empty my head of all the things I want to say.

Ready, set go.
I'm leaving in the morning for Arkansas. Bright and early. Well, early but not bright.

I spent some time today packing. I'm am queen of the carry-on. I can be gone a week and get everything I need in one bag. (My husband loves me even more for this!) I hate checking bags. Especially when I don't have a direct flight. I'm PARANOID that my luggage won't arrive at my final destination, so once again, I've got everything I need until Saturday in my carry-on. Woohoo!

I'll be home sometime Saturday night.

VBS begins on Monday so I'm going to hit the ground running. Especially since I'm helping with VBS this year. I swore I'd seen the last of those days, but I really had no good reason to say no this year. All of my kids will be there and I have lots of free time during the school year so I decided to give it a go. The perk is that I'm working with my sweet friend, Dana, and another guy who seems super laid back. I'm actually very excited about it.

I'm NOT excited about getting out the door early on those days. My kids have been sleeping until 8:30/9:00AM every day. (All of you guys with toddlers and babies--there IS hope that you can sleep past 6AM again one day). We're going to need to leave a little after 8:30 each morning. Man, I'm thinking that's going to be rough. Maybe John can work on getting them up earlier while I'm gone this week.

Speaking of John. He's working from home most of the week. I'm thankful that his bosses are flexible like that. I'm also thankful for some dear friends who are entertaining my children while John has some meetings. You guys are THE BEST. Thank you!

I debated taking my laptop with me to Arkansas, but decided against it. I'll probably check in a time or two while I'm gone, but then again I may not. I'll see what I feel like.

I'm sad to miss out on a farewell party for Joanne tomorrow. I'm hoping someone blogs about it so I won't feel too left out...hint, hint.

Okay, my 15 minutes are up. I need to try to get some sleep! I actually have to set the alarm clock tonight. I never EVER set an alarm clock. I either get John to wake me up or wake up on my own. I don't even HAVE an alarm clock. I have to use my cell phone! 

I hope you all have a great week!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I'll try anything once...

For the last year or so, I've come across blogger after blogger who has made homemade laundry detergent. Honestly, my first (and second and third...and fiftieth) thought has always been, "Ummmmmm, NO. I really like my Tide, thankyouverymuch."

A few weeks ago I read Chickadee's post about it and at the end she linked to a woman who crunched the numbers and figured out that it cost a penny per load. The tightwad in me read that and was convinced enough to give it a try. I mixed some up this weekend (haven't used it yet though) and I must confess that I'm a little tentative. 

John is even more tentative. 

When I told him what I was doing, he gave me a weird look. I asked him if he thought I was crazy, and he said, "Yeah, a little." 

Great. This could be interesting.

I suppose if we despise the concoction, then I can just pitch it and use the borax to make homemade silly putty, and the washing powder to soak things before our next tie-dye project. Stay tuned.

Speaking of making things from scratch...

I tried making hummus this weekend. It was DELICIOUS! I got the recipe from my friend, Tim, who got it from the Naked Chef cookbook. Seriously, it was as good if not better than the kind I buy at my health food store or Whole Foods. So much cheaper too and SO stinkin' easy. The hardest part was finding tahini paste at the store. 

Look out you guys. 

Next thing you know, I'll be making homemade cream of chemical mushroom or chicken soup! (Actually, I've been meaning to try this. Have any of you done this before?)

And homemade cheese crackers. Like Goldfish or CheezIts.

I'll try anything once. Well, almost anything. ;)

Saturday, June 13, 2009


"I preferred to work by firelight in the kitchen instead of turning on the over head bulb. Electricity's too harsh for early morning. Even the sun knows to start gentle."

--from The Well and the Mine by Gin Phillips

I came across the above quote last week, and I think it is beautiful--especially these two lines:
Electricity's too harsh for early morning. Even the sun knows to start gentle. 

One of my favorite things is waking up and walking in the kitchen each morning. John is a much earlier riser than I am, so I usually stumble in and find him sitting at the table in the near dark drinking coffee and reading or writing. 

I like to pour myself a cup and join him.

It's quiet, dark, peaceful, and together we wake up slowly. Gently.

Summer mornings seem even more gentle. During the school year, those delicious waking-up moments are soon followed by the frantic rush to make breakfast, make lunches, get myself and the kids dressed and out the door. Summer mornings allow me/us to linger and to remain in that restful (gentle) state. It's a beautiful way to start the day.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I googled 'synonym for random' and one of the results was aimless. So I googled the definition of aimless and got devoid of purpose or direction.

That's a perfect title for this post.

So, the vomiting continues around here. That makes day 3 if you're counting. Same kiddo. It hasn't spread but I keep wondering if my stomach really hurts or if it's just in my head.

I thought Abbey was much better yesterday. She kept at least 12 Otter Pops down, and ate some plain pasta for dinner but she woke up early, early this morning and threw up every 30 minutes for a couple of hours. Poor baby. She's nibbling on saltines and sipping slowly this morning. And I'm praying she perks up soon.

Moving on.

My dad is out of the hospital. Big praise! He was there for 12 days but it seems like his infection is finally under control. I'm going to Arkansas next week to see him. While there I get to be chief nutritionist and physical therapist because he needs to gain a lot of weight and strength back.

I have my first official neighborhood book club today. A group of us decided at Bunco one night that we'd give it a go and I'm super excited about it. Good thing J will be home to stay with Abbey and good thing I finished the book last night. I'm usually not a last minute kind of girl, but I'm having a hard time reading lately. I go through spurts where I can't stop reading, and then times that I can barely stay focused on a chapter. Obviously, I'm in one of my slumps.

The cable guy came yesterday and got us hooked up. We haven't had cable in about 6 years. I can honestly say I haven't missed it one bit. Except maybe during football season!

My kids are thrilled because the $10/month package we got had Disney, Nickelodeon, AND Cartoon Network. That surprised us AND the guy who installed it. 

I'm going to let the newness wear off a little and then set some rules about tv viewing time. My kids have watched more television in the last 24 hours than they have in a month. 

Thanks to those of you that joined the 10 on the 10th fun yesterday. I always love reading your posts, but Emily@ThePilotsWife had me in stitches. I was reading thru them and thinking "I should have a prize for the best 10 on the 1oth post", but I decided against it because  1. I hate what competition stirs up in women (it's not usually pretty, ya'll) 2. I'd have to objectively pick a winner and I hate doing that 3. It causes me stress/pressure and I usually avoid those things. So...there's no contest. That was just a fleeting thought. 

I should get going. I have LOTS to do today. Since it's 55 and overcast (yet again) it's a good day for inside chores. 

Side note: I really don't think summer is EVER going to get here. When ya'll talk on your blogs about spending the day at the pool or the lake I cannot even relate. We've had TWO days since May 1 that we've climbed into the 80s, but we've had more 60 degree days than I can count. And 60 isn't really very warm. Especially when it's cloudy. But enough complaining. I'm sure I'll be wishing for sixties when I'm sweltering in Arkansas next week.

Happy Thursday! 

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

10 on the 10th!

Well, I had a super great idea for a 10 on the 10th post but my day didn't go exactly as planned and I simply ran out of time to work on it.

So instead, here's a list of 10 things I did today.


1. Checked on our ladybugs. The girls and I went to the park yesterday and they found dozens of ladybugs. We put them all in the zippered pocket of my anorak until we could get home and put them in LadybugLand. My science-teacher-sister gave Abbey this cute gift for her birthday and now it's home to 34 ladybugs. Abbey told me that lots of them were "married" because they're stuck together with their partner. I just smiled and said, "Um-hmm". 
2. Made a new chore chart for the kids. We started our summer chores after Memorial Day and now we're on this weird Tuesday-Monday cycle. I really want to change that next week. Starting on Tuesday kinda throws me off a little.

3. Loaded up and went to Colorado Springs. Made trips to Party City, Michael's, Hobby Lobby, Dollar Tree, Target, Blockbuster, and King Soopers with three children. And you have no idea how tired I feel just typing all that out. I really hate shopping but was on a quest to buy everything my group needs for Vacation Bible School. Mission accomplished!

4. Stopped by Chick-fil-A in between running all those errands. My kids had certificates for free kids meals which they earned thru the summer reading program at the library. Two minutes after leaving the drive thru--two minutes--one of my children threw up. She had been telling me her stomach hurt and she looked sorta pale, but she was also jumping around and telling me she was STARVING. After the episode (I'll spare you the details) she immediately felt better and even nibbled on some chicken. We sat in a nearby parking lot, ate our lunch (nothing like vomiting to curb this mama's appetite), and watched the Air Force Academy gliders and paratroopers (one of my favorite things), and she really did perk up after that so we finished our last couple of errands. 
5. In fact, she was feeling so much better that we made a Sonic stop on our way home. Amber, I did NOT order pineapple Dr. Pepper. Had a vanilla one instead. Yum.

6. Two minutes after we got home, vomit episode #2 happened. Followed by a low grade fever. Ick.

7. Finished up some Girl Scout paperwork. It's one of the things I like the least about GS. 

8. Put on my tulip apron and made this for dinner. And tried not to think about how many calories there are in one serving. It's delicious though...

9. Watched my kids do a super happy dance when their dad bit the bullet and ordered CABLE TELEVISION for the LifeAt7000Feet household. We found a basic cable deal for $10/month with no contract and no hidden fees. Sweet! It gets activated tomorrow. We weren't ready for the switch to digital tv and were going to have to buy a converter box before Friday. Now we don't! Woohoo! 

10. Watched HSM with sick girl (Abbey) and I really need to finish this post so I can run to the store and buy her some popsicles. She still can't keep anything down, but at least we can have them for tomorrow.

If you want to join the 10 on the 10th fun, I'd love to have you. Just pick ten things (anything you can think of) and leave a link to your post below. 

*Mister Linky has been really weird lately. I'm keeping my fingers crossed it will work

1. Jennifer
2. Mollie
3. Holly@CrownLaidDown
4. Tiffani
5. Emily@ThePilotsWife
6. Steph@Thanks4theLemonade
7. Kellie@LaVidaDulce
8. CarpoolQueen
9. Amber@RaisingRascals
10. Michele@Mama in High Heels
11. Kendra@Kendra's Keepings
12. Renda
13. Lisa@SliceOfLife
14. Elizabeth @ Finding Him Bigger
15. Alison
16. Cathy in the NW
17. Christen@TheGardenOfEaten
18. whimzie
19. IdahoAngie
20. gretchen jewels
21. His Girl Amber- Finally
22. Angie - Flibbertigibberish

Monday, June 08, 2009

Lou, Lou, Link to my Lou...

Lame title, I know. I can't think of a creative or witty way to say "link" in the title, so work with me here, okay?

Wanna know the best $3.24 I've spent in the two weeks since school let out? Of course you do. I bought one at Target last week and it immediately put an end to "have I read for an hour yet, mom?" or "Mom, I'm sure I haven't been playing Wii for an hour." It also helps me challenge myself to get things accomplished quickly and helps limit my computer time.

If you don't find something like that helpful in limiting your computer time, perhaps you should check out this site which claims it will solve your internet addiction problem by basically locking you out of sites you frequent too often. Interesting. Ya'll let me know if it works.

We went to see UP this weekend and absolutely loved it. I knew to take tissue after reading some of your tweets, and I was so glad I did because the sweetness really got to me! It was an excellent film, and I especially loved this post that Cathy wrote about it.

I also keep meaning to tell you how much I am loving this lotion. John and I stayed at a Marriott the last night we were in Seattle and this was the complimentary lotion in our room. I think that was a brilliant marketing move on Marriott's part because I've talked to three other friends who went and bought this lotion after falling in love with their complimentary hotel bottle. It's very citrusy and light and it smells fantabulous! And it's also on sale at B&BW quite often.

Did I really just write an entire paragraph about lotion?

Yesterday afternoon John suggested we take a family bike ride. Except he wanted to run while the rest of us rode alongside him on the trail. Abbey still doesn't quite have the hang of her new big girl bike so he hooked this lovely contraption up to the back of mine. We did fine on the first leg of the trail (all downhill) but when we turned around to head back home, a rain storm was blowing in and we were facing 20+ mph headwinds. OH MY GOSH. Try pulling 50+ pounds, uphill, in a headwind. The birds couldn't even fight the wind; they were flying in place. Let's just say I got a brutal cardio/quad workout and I'm determined to get Abbey riding well on her own before we attempt that again. 

I'm sure most of you already get this magazine, but if you don't, can I just tell you how incredible it is? Really, it is FULL of fun ideas for families with kids of all ages. I've subscribed for years and years (it's pretty cheap!) and I looked thru it this morning while eating breakfast and found about 3 things I want to do with my kids this week. Check out that link above because there are TONS of great ideas online too.

I've gotten a little carried away with the links, but I have two dessert recipes I wanted to share. Here and here. Both are perfect for summer!

Ya'll have a great Monday! And don't forget that Wednesday is the 1oth...and you know what that means, don't ya? 

Friday, June 05, 2009

The Tweet Life (update at bottom)

Do ya'll Twitter? (You know that's a verb, right?)

I've been Twittering for awhile now. I don't even know if I can adequately explain what it is but I'll give it a go. Basically, it's a social networking platform and you have 140 characters to "talk". In that space you might tell folks what you're doing, what you're thinking, solicit an opinion, bare your soul, make a wisecrack (if you're super observant this might be funny in a minute), or issue a public service announcement. Really, the possibilities are endless.

For me, it's just a fun place to hang out when I have a few minutes to sit down at the computer. It's especially fun because my BFFs hang out there with me.

I just did a search of my most recent "tweets" so you could see what I've been up to the last few days. Pretend you're interested, okay?

Argh. Meant to book a flight last night...started watching a movie and forgot...price jumped up $85 today. SO frustrating.

Borrowed my neighbor's Dyson for a test run. I'm in love. I only "thought" my carpets were clean before.

You may be asking yourself what the point of knowing all this useless information is. Yeah, I wondered that for awhile too and arrived at the conclusion that it really is pointless and another huge way to waste time on the internet.

However, if it weren't for Twitter, I wouldn't know that:

@carpoolqueen and @lavidacoffeegal are are spending the day together with their kiddos--including lunch, a movie, and texting simultaneously (because they're cool like that).

@raisingrascals and @myansweredprayer are doing the movie thing together with their kids also.

@whimzie's dad started a new med today and she's digging travis cottrell and christy nockels new music these days. oh, and her vaccum doesn't suck. ;)

@blessedbyhim is a master shredder and left jillian in the dust to do some body sculpting. she's also reading the gospel of john and thinks 65 degrees is brrrrrrrr. 

@bearsandbelles hasn't been feeling so great and is worried about her sister.

@hisgirl wakes up thinking about Chipotle and has been TWICE this week. she also had a date with her husband and has a mountain of laundry to tackle today.

@dancingintherain is taunting me with her trip to Chipotle too. she had to run for cover this week since they had some crazy storms and tornado warnings. she also loves her dyson. (wonder if she was dancin' in the rain as her blog title suggests?)

@timh likes nutella on his croissants and thinks chocolate milk is the perfect post-run snack. if it weren't for him, i also wouldn't know of the wonderfulness of blueberry Z-bars or white chocolate macadamia nut Clif bars either. 

@jewelsinmycrownsomeday bought new workout clothes and has some super FUN weekend plans! 

@sliceoflife has been really quiet this week, but she chimed in that she doesn't love her miele canister vacuum.

See what ya'll are missing if you're not twittering? Anyone want to join us on the dark side? It really is a Tweet life. ;)

UPDATE: Carpoolqueen sent me a tweet with a link to this interesting article about Twitter. Read it if you have time...it's pretty good! 

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Strawberry Ladybugs

Abbey came home with a library book about fairies the other day. It's a really cute book filled with stories, crafts, and even a few recipes. She brought it to me yesterday morning, flipped to pages 30-31, and told me she wanted to make Strawberry Ladybugs.

I didn't have the two main ingredients on hand--strawberries & chocolate--but that was quickly remedied with a trip to the grocery store (which was on my errand list anyway). 

Will spent the afternoon with a friend which gave me the perfect opportunity to make these sweet treats with the girls.

Aren't they adorable???
SO easy too.

Here are the instructions in case you want to make some too!

Strawberry Ladybugs

You will need:
Large strawberries (I used 1 lb of small to medium berries)
A bar of chocolate (I bought a 4.4oz Hershey bar and used 3/4 of it)
Waxed Paper
Small, clean paintbrush
One large and one small heat-proof bowl

1. Wash and hull strawberries. Cut them in half and lay flat side down on a sheet of waxed paper.

2. Break the chocolate into a small bowl. Place the small bowl inside the larger bowl and ask an adult to pour boiling water in between the two, halfway up the side. Let sit for five minutes and then carefully remove the small bowl. Stir the chocolate with a spoon until smooth. (Or you could just microwave it).

3. Dip the tip of each berry into the chocolate to make the ladybug's head. Lay flat side down on waxed paper to dry.

4. Use the paintbrush to paint on chocolate wings and spots. Allow the chocolate to set.

5. Arrange on pretty plate and share with friends!

*We tried making chocolate rose leaves by dipping the shiny side of clean rose leaves into the melted chocolate. We put them in the freezer to harden, then peeled the leaves off. SO neat! You can see one of our leaves in the pic below. And please don't think for a minute that was my idea. It was in the tips section of the recipe.

My family said they were delicious. I wouldn't know because I didn't eat one. NOT a chocolate fan. And yes, I know that I'm weird.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Not Much

Good morning.

I'm checking in to say that I haven't been feeling the love for blogging lately.

Just can't think of anything earth-shattering I want to say or share.

Yet here I sit. Compelled to say and share my "nothing".

I'm an enigma.

I'll just keep it short and sweet:

1. I was tucking Abbey in Sunday night, the last day of May, and she remembered that she needed a name for June and chose Popsicle, which she herself shortened to "Popsi". I love that girl and I love her creativity.

2. It's COLD here today. And stormy. Our high is supposed to be 51 but I just checked the temp and we're still in the 40s. It wasn't quite this cold yesterday, but it was rainy. I don't really mind a day or two like this every so often. I like to spend  them inside (reading, cleaning, watching movies with the kids) because when it's nice and sunny I want to be outdoors. (I have to get out and run some errands today though...and will definitely be wearing jeans and fleece!)

3. Speaking of reading, I'm enjoying The Well and the Mine by Gin Phillips right now. The writing is superb. I stumbled across two lines yesterday that struck me as brilliant. I'll share them soon...trying to make my brain formulate a blog post.

4. I was talking with a friend about the wonderfulness of GreekGods honey-flavored yogurt and she told me she thought I'd enjoy *this*. Oh my goodness. I'm not an ice cream lover (like the rest of my family) but this stuff is delicious! 

5. My dad is in the hospital in NWA right now. He's been battling a serious infection that has been repeatedly overlooked/misdiagnosed because the infection symptoms mimicked the side effects of his chemo. The long story is nightmarish...the short story is that he's finally being treated for the right thing and we're hoping/praying he recovers quickly.

That's some of what's going on in the Lifeat7000feet household. I'll check in again when the blogging urge strikes!

Monday, June 01, 2009


Using a highly scientific method to choose a winner (I asked Sarah to pick a number between 1 and 38), Deena (#37) is the lucky recipient of a customized item of her choice from TreeFrogCreations!

Deena also happens to be another college friend who I've reconnected with this past year thanks to Facebook. She is also a fabulous cook. She sent me some recipes a couple weeks ago, and I've made this and this--and they were both delicious! Feel free to send more yumminess my way, Deena (and feel free to start blogging anytime too!)

Enjoy picking out your prize. I'll email you with details!

Thanks for joining the fun!